Scholar to lecture on Biblical scrolls

By JASMINE HARDING | Staff writer

Emanuel Tov, a world-class scholar of Hebrew and Greek literature, will present his lecture titled “The Biblical Manuscripts among the Dead Sea Scrolls” in Belin Chapel on Oct. 22 at 7 p.m.

Dr. David Capes, the University’s Thomas Nelson research professor, invited Tov to speak.

The main focus of the lecture is the Biblical scrolls at Qumran, which are manuscripts that impacted early Christianity.

Dr. Ben Blackwell, assistant professor in Christianity, explained that since these texts were written during the period of time between the Old and New Testaments they provide a wealth of information about a time in Judaism that researchers know very little about.

“These are a collection of Jewish texts written several centuries before and up to the time of Christ, which were discovered in the 1940s,” Blackwell said. “They have given us a huge amount of information about Judaism between the Old and New Testament time periods.”

Tov’s lecture will explain the significance of these particular manuscripts of the Dead Sea Scrolls to students in greater detail. Students will be able to participate in a question-and-answer session directly after the lecture.

“The Dead Sea Scrolls represent one of the most significant archaeological finds of the 20th century,” said Dr. William Rutherford, assistant professor of Christianity and Biblical languages. “Their discovery and decipherment have helped transform scholars’ understanding of important issues in theological and Biblical studies, including beliefs about the Jewish Messiah and the end times.”

“The Dead Sea Scrolls have much to tell us about patterns of Jewish belief and practice in Judea at the time of Jesus,” Rutherford said.

Rutherford added that students should attend the lecture even if they have never studied the manuscripts.

Tov, who is internationally-known, was a former editor in chief of a Dead Sea Scrolls publication project. He specializes in numerous textual criticisms of the Qumran Scrolls, Hebrew Scripture and Greek Scripture. He is in Houston serving as a visiting researcher at Lanier Theological Seminar.

Tov is also offering a Hebrew reading group that some of the University’s Biblical languages students are also attending, Blackwell said.

Rutherford explained that having the opportunity to hear a researcher of Tov’s caliber is significant.

“Tov is highly knowledgeable about the earliest forms of Christian Scripture, and he is eminently familiar with the Dead Sea Scrolls,” Rutherford said.

Capes said students could benefit from this lecture regardless if they are Christianity, nursing or business majors because religion is a powerful arc of society.

“I think it’s great that Tov is coming,” senior La’Darien Harris said. “I think it will be interesting to see someone give an unbiased opinion on the history of Judaism, and I hope Tov can provide information over the disputes of Biblical authorships.”

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